Sunday, May 15, 2005

Dirty Bones

Dirty Bones (Adapted from Martha Stewart)

6 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dutch-process cocoa powder, for dusting

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

In a large heat-safe mixing bowl, add egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) - whisk the mixture gently until the sugar has dissolved and it feels warm to the touch, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Place bowl on mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on high speed until very stiff peaks form, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add vanilla and beat to combine.

Scoop the mixture into a large pastry bag fitted with either a 1/4" or 12" plain round tip. Pipe bone shapes onto parchment lined baking sheets. To pipe the bone shape - in a continuous motion, pipe a small figure 8, then a straight line (about 3 to 6" long), then another small figure 8 at the end.

Place pans into the oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the meringues are crisp throughout, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. When completely cool, dip a soft pastry brush into cocoa powder and gently brush over the bones to make them "dirty".

Depending on size of pastry tip and length of bones, yield can vary between 2 to 4 dozen.

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